Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dahlia Planting and Orchid Surgery

Half of the dahlia tubers
I must say it has been an eventful weekend, so far! One big accomplishment that has been made is planting the dahlias. We have two rows dug out in the yard, about 65 feet long, to hold 45 different dahlia tubers. These plants are quite remarkable, they grow like potatoes (I am told), can grow to 5.5 feet tall and produce up to 14 inch blooms! I cannot wait to see how these flowers will turn out! Unfortunately, I have to wait until August and September to see them in action. After the growing season though, they should multiply and produce up to five more tubers. That means even more flowers next year! We ordered these tubers from Swan Island Dahlias all the way from Oregon. It must be a site to see their gardens! Now it's a waiting game to see who will pop-up first.

The names were stamped right on the tubers
Laying out the dahlias before planting

Sad news for one of my orchids...I had to cut-off one of its leaves and now it only has two left. A little while ago I noticed a black streak on the leaf, which could have been from too much direct sunlight or some kind of fungal disease happening. Well, I waited too long to try and do something about it and eventually the whole leaf started turning yellow. It was even progressing towards the stem. Yikes! So last night I finally got the courage to cut the leaf. I used a very sharp razor blade, sterilized it with matches before, made the cut and then covered the open wound with some cinnamon to prevent any bacteria from growing. I don't have any anti-fungal powder on hand so that is why I used the cinnamon. I hope this orchid will survive and that I didn't wait too long. Oddly enough it sprouted two new buds a few weeks ago, even though it was fully bloomed already. I may have to cut those off though so it will work on growing leaves instead.

The orchid after surgery
The new buds

The warm weather has found us! It reached 80+ degrees last week, surprisingly. Not a huge fan of the temperature jump though; it completely skipped the 60s and 70s! But with this warm weather we can now start planting the garden with our heirloom vegetables. The garden area is freshly tilled and planting rows are being made as I type, so it's just a matter of time before the tomatoes are planted. And the day is still young! Lastly for the weekend, I planted 11 bird's nest spruce trees in the backyard. Why may you ask? Well, they were from a landscaping job we installed and oddly enough the lady over-cared for her low-maintenance landscape that she wanted. With all the rain that we received in February and March, plus the watering she did daily was just too much for these little spruces. Eventually, the needles started turning red and falling off from all the water. So we kindly replaced all of the dying bushes with new ones and I ended up with 11 dying bushes. We decided to plant them in the back by all the trees to see if they would make a comeback. Sure enough, buds have started forming and sprouting. Looks like we're in luck! So like I said, it's been an eventful weekend.


  1. Your orchids look as if they are trying to communicate with you--all perky and happy! Try using tea tree oil as an antifungal. It made 40 degrees here today. Not supposed to reach 60 until the first of May. Until then it's going to hang out in the 40's. Ugh! I remember hanging the hummingbird feeders on May 8th last year because they were here at the window giving me "the eye". Hope they don't show up that early this year--they'll be in for a rude surprise. Now that a couple inches of snow have melted, I can see daffodils trying to make their way through last years leaves. Can't imagine leaves on the trees with snow still on the ground, but spring will get here--eventually.

  2. Yay for warm weather & gardening. I am actually with my family in the Smokies for the weekend, to visit my brother who goes to UTK, and it was SOOO cold yesterday. I left all of my cold weather clothes in Montana too- rats! I am so excited for how beautiful your yard is going to be once it is officially warm! We drove through all the pretty neighborhoods in Knoxville yesterday to see the dogwoods and tulips and everything was so nice and green.